x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Mixed results at Mumbai Sevens for UAE side

Wayne Marsters looks at the UAE's recent foray in the Mumbai Sevens in a glass half-full, glass half-empty sort of way, particularly pleased with the three wins the team recorded, writes John McAuley.

Wayne Marsters, here talking to the UAE Shaheen after a game at the Abu Dhabi Harlequins Sevens Tournament in November, says he was pleased with the three wins the national sevens side earned at the Mumbai Sevens.
Wayne Marsters, here talking to the UAE Shaheen after a game at the Abu Dhabi Harlequins Sevens Tournament in November, says he was pleased with the three wins the national sevens side earned at the Mumbai Sevens.

 

For Wayne Marsters, the UAE coach, his side's performance at the Mumbai Sevens was more a case of glass half full.

The UAE were defeated 26-7 in Sunday's Bowl final by a powerful China team having on Saturday failed to qualify for the Cup quarter-finals when they finished third in their group behind Hong Kong, eventual winners, and Thailand.

The UAE regrouped to first beat Iran 17-14 in the last eight of Bowl and then triumph 26-15 in the semi-finals against Kazakhstan.

China proved one hurdle too many, leaving the UAE 10th in the overall standings.

Marsters said the side could draw positives from their weekend's work.

"Target-wise, we haven't got the placing we would've wanted considering we talked the whole of the series about top six, and wanted at least to consolidate eighth place as we got ninth last season," he said. "But we got some victories that we're happy about. We beat India, Kazakhstan - which is a good scalp for us - and scraped past a very brave Iran.

"We've got three wins, which is the most we've achieved. "

It could have been even better for the UAE as they arrived at half time level with China, but the experienced sevens nation eventually sealed a convincing win.

"We thought a big Asian sevens scalp was there for the taking," Marsters said.

"But again the same things let us down that have in other tournaments: fitness, attention to detail and basic one-on-one defence.."

Marsters reserved praise for Mohammed Abbas and Mohannad Shaker.

Abbas is enjoying his transition last season from football and tippd his potential with some fine breakaway tries.

Shaker played two of full games and Marsters said he fully deserved his role in the side.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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